The more we hear about McDonald's HR resource center, appropriately titled McResources, the more we learn about the darkness of the human soul. Almost one month to the day after learning that their help center tells its employees to sign up for food stamps, Mickey D's has struck again. This time their website suggests its hungry, underpaid employees to break their food up into smaller bites so that it "results in eating less and still feeling full." The New York Times's Steve Greenhouse, a labor reporter, tweeted this screenshot of the McResources page that has many people aghast.
And here's a closer look of that "advice" in question:
Greenhouse says McDonald's is actually giving "Ralph" advice on how to "avoid hunger & stretch food budget." In other words, an ultra-profitable company that makes really cheap, calorie-laden food is telling its own employees to nibble here and there to avoid feeling hunger pangs, instead of feeding them more nutritious food or paying them a living wage.
But is this really what's going on? Is this the same as Wal-Mart holding a food drive for its own struggling workers?
When you try and rationalize the language, the only other believable theory that makes sense is that this is more diet advice than hunger/budget advice. Maybe it's some health-initiative targeting excessive snacking, and maybe McDonald's is just looking out for the health of its employees? Maybe. However, even in that case, they are a food company. Either way, it's not a good look for a Fortune 500 company.
After all, it was revealed recently that McDonald's HR helpers actually advise employees to go on food stamps if they're struggling with bills. A help-line call leaked by a fair-pay advocacy group captured a McResources HR operator acknowledging that 10-year employee doesn't make a lot of money and also urging that employee to sign up for federal benefits. Ergo, if McResources operators know that their employees are struggling to make ends meet and pay for food, then it wouldn't be too far-fetched for that company to also tell them how to stretch their budget too.